Republican strategist Mindy Finn was unveiled Thursday as Evan McMullin’s vice presidential pick. The former intelligence officer is mounting an independent bid for the presidency and has attracted some top consultants to his campaign including Ian Patrick Hines, who’s working his email program, and Rick Wilson, who is acting as his general consultant.
Republican consultants have taken an active role trying to derail Donald Trump’s presidential bid with the #stoptrump movement growing to a constellation of PACs, including the well-funded Our Principles PAC, which launched in January.
Finn told ABC News she was excited to graduate from “encourage[ing] others to run for office” to becoming a candidate herself.
“This is now an opportunity to walk the walk,” she said. “This is how it should feel to participate in a democracy. I’ve also been incredibly impressed by the amount of traction they have in such a short amount of time and I am thrilled to be part of continuing to build a new movement."
Finn’s resume includes stints with Google, Twitter, the NRSC and the RNC. She recently worked for IMGE, the digital strategy firm.
Finn’s involvement may have already paid dividends. McMullin, a Utah native, hit Mitt Romney’s email list with a fundraising pitch on Monday. Finn was the former Massachusetts governor’s digital director during his 2008 run for president.
McMullin also spoke to ABC about his expanding organization. “I have a campaign manager and I have staff, and the team is growing very quickly,” he said. “There’s been just a tremendous outpouring of interest at all levels.”
His campaign’s September monthly FEC report shows roughly $45,000 cash on hand.
Meanwhile, Finn could face some blowback for her involvement with McMullin. In the unlikely event that McMullin plays spoiler for Trump in Utah, where he’s polling around 12 percent, the case could be made that she helped contribute to a Hillary Clinton victory.
In fact, Wilson told ABC: “The path is difficult, but not as unlikely as people think.”
But perhaps more likely is the backlash she’s likely to face online from trolls. Katie Packer, the GOP consultant behind Our Principles PAC, tweeted in a series of posts Thursday: “At the beginning of this year I legitimately feared for my safety … this is what happens when you challenge Trump in any way.”
In one way, McMullin’s campaign has already bested Trump. His website was prepped with a bio of his new running mate and photos of the two candidates together in the same place.